Feeling figuratively itchy

February 8, 2015

I have this itch I can’t scratch and it’s driving me up the wall. It’s a desire to do something!

How do you spend your days? Think about it. Now ask yourself, could you be doing more?

For a long time, my answer to that last question was no. I was doing all I could. Well, I was doing enough, anyway. I was working, socializing, volunteering. I was sick and trying to take care of myself. I was spending hours dealing with lawyers, insurance companies, and benefits. I was seeing many doctors. I was doing combinations of these. But now, suddenly, I’m not doing any of them Well ok, I’m still seeing doctors, but not as often.

The insurance nightmare is over. I’ve received all of the benefits I’m eligible for. My health is stable enough. I have some more research to do and some more treatments to try, but they’re on hold as I adjust some of my current meds. On top of all of that, miraculously, I’m feeling better! I’m able to do more each day than I could a year ago. I still need to rest, but usually for only a day or two at a time, which is a big improvement. Sometimes just half a day of rest is enough. I have more time. And when I’m being productive, I’m able to think more clearly. My memory still has gaps, but they’ve shrunk a bit. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have the potential to do more!

So you may be wondering what my problem is. Well, it’s simple: I feel like I have potential, but I’m not confident that I really do. And if I do something to earn money, and I lose benefits, it would somewhat defeat the purpose of working.

I mentioned the other day that I want to get a new apartment. I’ve been looking at apartments and each time I do, I’m completely exhausted and need to rest the next day. This is a physically and emotionally tiring process, but it’s short term. In a few months, hopefully, I’ll be mostly unpacked in my new home. Still, if this is so exhausting, then can I really manage even a part time job? I don’t want my health to backslide. I also don’t want to lose my new-found ability to take care of myself properly, lose my ability to socialize, or lose this feeling of actually feeling ok a lot of the time.

Another other thing that’s on my mind when I look at apartments is the cost. Right now, I’m pulling money out of savings every month. That’s ok for a while, but at some point I’ll run out of savings. My social security payments can cover my rent or all of my other expenses. (Yes, my rent is almost exactly half of my total monthly expenses.) So any rent will be too much. Still, I’m trying to find something slightly cheaper than my current place, which isn’t easy to do around here. At the end of the day, I know I need to earn some money to go towards my rent. Let’s say I can manage to earn $1000 per month eventually. That’s not enough for me to lose my social security, but I’m guessing I’d lose my food stamps and fuel assistance. Once I account for the loss of those other benefits, it would be like I was only earning $750. So I’d be putting in $1000 worth of effort and time to only getting $750 in return. That’s hard to swallow. I need to figure out a way to earn that $1000 with as little time and effort as possible to make it worth it. And then I still wouldn’t be breaking even, either. But I’d be closer.

I want so badly to¬†do something¬†useful. And I know I need to get paid for it. I also know I need to wait. I need to wait until I’ve figured out the financial angle and until I know my health is stable enough. So I’ll wait. I wouldn’t want to try any sort of work until after I move anyway. But still, there’s this feeling, this need, to do something. Because it’s been a long time since I’ve had that option. And deep inside, I have the fear that this almost-ability won’t last long, so I better seize the chance while I can.

But I need to wait.

Hence the itch.

What a difference a parking spot can make

February 6, 2015

I should be out doing things today. I should at least be doing things around my apartment. Instead, it’s noon, I’m in my pajamas, and I’m having trouble finding the energy to do anything remotely useful. Why? Because of parking problems.2015-01-28 08.31.11

Parking is a problem in a lot of cities. It’s so inconvenient that I briefly considered going car-less a few years ago, but the reality is that there were just too many days, even when I was healthier, that I could walk to public transportation. So I kept my car. Which means I always need a place to put my car.

Boston has gotten a lot of snow recently – about 40″ in the last two weeks. And we’re do for another foot or two in the next few days. In a city of narrow roads, this greatly restricts parking. My neighborhood has parking on both sides of the street normally, but right now there’s only enough room to park on one side. That means that every time I drive, I worry about giving up my parking space.

Two days ago, I came home tired, then spent 1/2 hour looking for a parking space. By the time I got to my apartment I was too tired to cook dinner.

Yesterday I decided to take the bus instead of giving up my parking space. I took the bus, walked, walked more, took the bus, and took another bus. I was exhausted. I did everything I needed to while I was out, but it was tiring. Then I waited for the last bus for 30 minutes in wind chill temperatures around 10F. That didn’t help. Again, by the time I got home I was too tired to cook dinner.

Today I’m resting. If I had driven yesterday, I’d probably have the energy to do the few things I’d like to do today. I could go to the post office, cook, and generally feel decent. Instead, I feel lousy. And why? Because I didn’t want to give up my parking space.

I’ve thought about moving several times over the years, but this may be the last straw. It may be time to move now. I’ve tried to put up with the parking stresses, but last week I didn’t go out because of it, and that wasn’t good for my emotion health. This week I did go out and it wasn’t good for my physical health. Shouldn’t I live someplace where I can go out when I need to and come home when I need to? (By the way, parking can be tough even when there’s no snow on the ground. The snow just makes it that much harder.)

So I’m looking for a new apartment. In fact, that’s what I was doing when I took the bus yesterday. I’ve seen a couple places that are close to what I want, but not quite. I’m still looking. It’s a tough market, so please wish me luck!

And hopefully, by next winter, I will have an apartment with my very own, off street parking space. Oh, what a luxury that would be!

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